Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blogging Is Like Therapy, Without The Couch

Blogging is like therapy. No really, think about it. Don't see the similarities? Read on...

Every time your page views go up, someone new starts following your blog, or another blogger links to one of your posts, you feel validated, like it's all worth it. We link from our blogs to Twitter and other networking sites to connect with as many people as possible. In a way, our blog popularity is a way of saying, "Hey bullies and former cool kids, I am not a nobody, people care what I have to say."

Still not convinced with my comparison? Maybe blogging is more like group therapy. We write about the things that are going on in our lives, and fellow bloggers respond, often sharing their own experiences and offering advice. How great does it feel to write a post about something that's been bothering you? It's like a release. Isn't it comforting to read a post by someone else about something you've experienced? You know you're not alone.

I'm not saying that this similarity is good or bad, but we definitely have to be careful not to blur the line too much. I feel that there's a difference between a blog and a diary. There have been times when I've shared some pretty personal things on my blog, but there are also some things that I have never posted about and probably never will. A hot topic in the blogosphere recently has been authenticity, and some would say that I'm not representing myself authentically if there are things I don't include in my posts. But, I don't see it that way. When I share something personal, it's because I want to, and because I feel that my experience could help someone else who is in a similar situation. I only write these posts when I'm ready to share that part of my life. I don't ever want to post something that I later regret sharing with the world.

Blogging is like therapy, and it can serve as a great outlet to connect with people who understand us and what we're going through. Everyone makes their own decisions as far as what they will and won't write about on their blog. For some, there is a clear dividing line between the digital world and the real world. We may only be comfortable sharing certain things with the people who know us well, and that's okay. There are certain things that are too personal to share with the blogosphere. So, keep telling your stories, in as much detail as you want, but don't ditch the couch just yet.

Disclaimer: I am in no way encouraging people to stop going to therapy. Blogging may be like therapy, but it's definitely not the same.

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